Yes, you can buy your caramel sauce at the store, but why deny yourself the magical experience of transforming white granulated sugar into a beautiful rich brown caramel. This recipe uses the dry caramelization method, which involves heating granulated sugar until it melts and then caramelizes. To make the sauce, use a large, light colored, heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan. If this is your first time making caramelized sugar, low and slow is the way to go. Remember that if you do not have immediate success, all you are out is a little bit of sugar. Try again, the results are worth it.
Here is the recipe Sally Made
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon best quality vanilla
2 to 3 Tablespoons of your favorite spirit ( liqueur or liquor) Optional
1. Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large, light colored, heavy-bottomed skillet or sauce pan. Cook over medium heat. As the sugar heats, it will begin to liquify around the edges of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to pull the liquid sugar towards the center of the pan. This will keep the sugar on the outside of the pan from burning before the sugar on the inside of the pan melts.
2. Continue to move the liquid sugar to the center of the pan. If the sugar develops clumps, reduce the heat to low and let the clumps melt (with out stirring). Bring the heat back to medium and continue to melt the sugar. The caramel is ready when all the sugar has melted and is a dark, almost red color (think old copper penny). The caramel will have a nutty smell. Remove the caramel from the heat.
3. Add the butter all at once to the melted sugar. Stir. It will foam up while you are stirring. Stir until all the butter is melted. Add the heavy cream. Stir until blended. The cream may foam up while you are stirring. If the caramel sauce has clumps in it, return the sauce to low heat and stir frequently until the clumps dissolve. Remove the sauce from the heat. Season with the salt and vanilla. Stir to blend. Add the liquor or liqueur if desired. Stir. Let the sauce cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Serve or store in glass container in the refrigerator. Warm sauce before serving.
Recipe ©Sally James Mathis
Photography ©Taylor Mathis
Here is more information on the photo Taylor took.
Above are two versions of the final caramel sauce picture. On the left is the shot without any editing. Notice the small white spots on the spoon. Most of these spots are dust from the camera’s sensor. Fortunately, they can easily be removed with the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop. The picture on the right shows the final shot with the spots removed.
Do you edit your pictures with post production software like Lightroom or Photoshop?